Green Lantern: Rebirth (trade review)

Partly because Green Lantern is in the "Rage of the Red Lanterns," and partly because it's in the library, and partly because I'm trying to read more Green Lantern, we are reviewing today

Green Lantern: Rebirth
by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver

What it's about: Johns revises the Green Lantern mythos in this 2004 six-issue miniseries. He explains all kinds of things, from Hal's jacket, to Hal's gray hair, to what Parallax really was, and how Hal was merely infected by the Parallax entity. Along the way, he returns the GL corps. to glory.

What I liked: The crazy scenes in space, where you meet all kinds of beings and worlds! I love the fantasy aspect of it.

What I didn't like: Batman comes off as a caricature of himself (an "entity of fear and distrust"), but it fit Johns's vision well enough. People refer to "hope" and "fear" way too much, so some of the dialogue comes off as ridiculous.
John Stewart Bats

Also, who the heck thought it'd be a good idea to come up with the Spectre? I love that, as an agent of God, he punishes his victims ironically, but c'mon, what kind of Western God could possibly think of the Spectre's sadism as justice? You don't get judged when you're still alive. You get judged when you're dead. That's one of the major tenets of Christianity.
That is why the Spectre pisses me off.

DC is kind of obsessed with keeping its former heroes. I mean, Barry Allen just came back from the dead, and Oliver Queen came back from the dead when Kevin Smith was working on it. It's just, if you're gonna have legacy characters, then why keep going back? Why the regression? We see that Johns cares about the other Lanterns as well, but there's this need to make Hal the "greatest of them all." Meh.

Ollie Green Lantern Ring

Oliver's resurrection was incredibly done, but meh, this trade didn't really resonate with me.
Sure, it sold out and everything, but hopefully, I'll like Green Lantern more as I keep going.

Extras?: Intro by Brad Meltzer, which is about how Johns is basically a fan writing for the fans. There's a cover gallery of all the variant covers that released with the miniseries, and then we see Johns's proposal for the miniseries.

Final thoughts: Well, don't let my negative thinking get in your way. I'd probably be better off, if I'd read more of Green Lantern, and I certainly hope to. I sometimes loiter in Borders to read the comics, and lemme tell you, I am certainly interested in this Rage of the Red Lanterns.


Sea_of_Green said...

As much as I loved Rebirth, I admit I've also been a Green Lantern fan for a very, very long time -- so I brought things to the story that would probably be lost on a newer reader. It's also not a secret that I have a very old, deep, and completely irrational crush on that magnificent jerk, Hal Jordan, so naturally I was thrilled by his return. ;-) But I'm also fond of John, Guy, and Kyle, so I had no hard feelings that all of the characters (heck the entire Corps) were treated well.

HOWEVER, I DO think that Green Arrow: Quiver was much, much better than Rebirth, in terms of bringing back a deceased character. I think Quiver is STILL the best super-hero-brought-back-from-the-dead story ever done.

Oh, and the Spectre -- The Spectre has been the source of much speculation on the subject of metaphysics in comics. Most readers seem to regard him as a relic of the Old Testament and the idea of the "Wrath of God," meting out eye for an eye, and all that. When Hal Jordan initially became the Spectre's host, he had a hard time with that aspect of the Spectre's nature, and for a time actually succeeded in transforming the Spectre into the Spirit of Redemption. However, something went horribly wrong, and the Spectre was forced into transforming back into the Spirit of Vengeance -- a transformation that's pretty much blamed on the influence of Parallax.

The problem there, of course, is that, how on earth is a "newbie" reader picking up Green Lantern: Rebirth for the first time supposed to KNOW all that?

Kevin T. said...

See, sea, this is why you're here! So I can plunge into your mind.

Thanks for the heads-up about the Spectre =).

Stats a-go-go